How Is the San Clemente In Cozumel for Diving?
How Is the San Clemente In Cozumel for Diving?
By Dennis Anderson
At Villa Deja Blue, we help travelers enjoy Cozumel snorkeling and diving in a relaxing atmosphere leveraging information from our experience living on Cozumel Island.
Columbia Normal offers divers of all abilities an abundance of marine life to explore in its vibrant reef strip with many overhangs and abundant life forms, making this dive suitable as the second dive of any two tank trip.
The deep wall offers an impressive collection of sponges and overhangs topped with maze-like coral tunnels. Hawksbill turtles roam freely on its reef while nurse sharks patrol its waters.
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Cozumel offers divers a diverse array of dive sites for every level and type of diver, from deep walls with breathtaking coral formations and fast-paced drift dives, all the way through to wreck dives. There are also plenty of marine creatures such as sea turtles, nurse sharks and angelfish to see!
Cozumel Reefs National Marine Park is an expansive body of protected waters that starts in San Miguel and extends past Punta Sur, Cozumel’s southern tip. Here you will find most of Cozumel’s premier dive sites.
Dive site C-53 is a large wreck situated at 15-25 meters depths, offering divers a unique opportunity to see all forms of marine life such as squid, lobsters, octopus and shrimp – as well as schooling fish such as bluestriped grunt and snapper.
Palancar Horseshoe is another popular dive site, named for the U-shaped protrusion visible on Palancar Reef wall. This dive site is known for its array of coral heads spanning up to 25 meters in height as well as swim-throughs. While currents at this dive site may be strong, advanced divers who enjoy speedy drifts can find great joy here.
Santa Rosa is an exquisite steep wall dive, complete with gorgeous swim-throughs and lush coral formations, making it suitable for divers of all levels and experience levels. As this dive site does not extend too deep underwater, afternoon diving may prove less crowded and more enjoyable.
Tikila Reef is a shallow reef known for its abundance of patch coral, multicolored sponges and gorgonians as well as good opportunities for photographers and novice divers alike. Perfect for photographers and beginner divers alike. Furthermore, Tikila also makes for an outstanding night dive as its marine inhabitants come alive after sunset!
No matter the season, Cozumel offers plenty of opportunities for diving. Tourists tend to come between late April and mid-May and September-October; these months also present great snorkeling opportunities because you could witness loggerhead and hawksbill sea turtles during their mating seasons.
San Clemente Reef offers the ideal shallow reef diving experience with plenty of marine life to see, making it the ideal site for newcomers or those wanting to develop their air consumption skills through longer bottom times. Although the coral is not as vibrant or numerous as other Cozumel sites, this shallow dive site still boasts incredible coral formations as well as numerous small marine creatures – perfect for beginners looking for their first dive site experience or advanced divers looking to expand their bottom time experience! Plus it is easily accessible!
San Clemente Reef can be found within Cozumel Reefs National Marine Park, an underwater protected area that contains much of Cozumel’s famed marine life. This protected area safeguards over 65 species of stony coral, 350 varieties of mollusks and numerous fish and ocean creatures – making this world-famous destination for scuba diving enthusiasts worldwide.
Diving at Cozumel Reefs National Marine park is an enjoyable activity no matter the season, though May-October tends to have cooler water temperatures but still boasts amazing coral formations and marine life galore. Also during this period is Loggerhead turtle nesting season so chances are good you may even spot one on almost every dive!
Palancar Caves is an intermediate diver dive site, with stunning coral pinnacles and spires offering an eye-catching display of colors. Additionally, this location features the Devil’s Throat swim-through that presents beginner divers with an intimidating challenge requiring them to use a dive light as navigation aids.
Cantarel is an advanced dive site typically performed as a multi-level drift dive, starting in shallower waters before moving deeper underwater to descend through a wall notch with downcurrent current. As this notch often contains dangerous currents for unprepared divers, it’s essential that your instructor knows you are comfortable tackling this type of dive.
Eagle Rays can often be found here and are most active between January and March when migrating through. This dive site also makes for an excellent experience diving with sharks!
Cozumel’s government works diligently to keep tourist destinations secure, including scuba diving. Since scuba diving can be dangerous, newcomers to this sport should always visit with an experienced guide and use equipment which has been properly maintained.
Cozumel boasts an abundance of snorkel and scuba dive shops to suit everyone’s diving needs, making it easy to select one to meet them. Most shops provide equipment suitable for beginners as well as experienced divers – helping select gear best suited to their level. Most also have full-time DAN (Divers Alert Network) staff available 24/7 in case of decompression sickness such as DCS or AGE symptoms.
Divers can expect to encounter a wide variety of marine life at San Clemente, from sea turtles and spotted eagle rays to tropical fish species and magnificent coral structures that create an eye-catching rainbow of hues.
This site takes its name from the bricks dropped into its waters to ballast a capsized ship. Surrounded by reef pinnacles scattered among white sandy seafloor, this area provides snorkelers an opportunity to observe and discover their surroundings while more experienced snorkelers may venture deeper gaps within coral structures in search of marine life hiding within.
Cantarel Drift Diving Site in Cozumel is one of the island’s most beloved dive spots, offering some of the strongest currents around. The dive consists of small reef heads that protrude out of the water, creating an incredible underwater scene of coral, gorgonians, and toadfish – with advanced divers having access to deeper parts of the wreck itself for advanced dives – creating one of the island’s most desired dive experiences! Cantarel usually happens as the second dive of each day.
The area is best-known for its large eagle ray population, which migrates through between January and March. Divers will also find tropical fish species as well as amazing coral formations, caves and swim-through tunnels – typically beginning their dive at 15 meters for all levels of certified divers.
Cozumel offers warm enough waters that many divers opt not to wear neoprene wetsuits; however, a rashguard or light coverup can still provide sufficient protection from jellyfish stings and sun exposure on the surface. Furthermore, purchasing DAN (Divers Alert Network) insurance policies could come in handy should any emergencies or accidents arise during their trip.
Devil’s Throat, located 40 to 120 feet beneath the reef surface, is one of Cozumel’s premier diving spots. These tunnels cut through the reef at depths ranging from 40 to 120 feet provide shelter to squirrelfish, angelfish and other reef-dwellers as well as being home for turtles, black groupers, and French grunts.
Cantarel Reef offers another fantastic dive location, where eagle rays can be found abundantly. Divers should typically head towards the edge of the reef before dropping down through an opening in its wall to see these incredible animals up close and personal.
The Palancar Bricks are located at the southernmost point of Palancar Reef and feature large heads rising from sandy bottom along its wall, covered in vibrant coral formations in striking hues. Divers can explore canyons and swim-throughs here to find canyon fish as well as glassy sweepers as well as brown and blue chromis schools.
Cozumel is best visited during March-April when peak season has concluded and temperatures remain warm but not overly hot or humid; prices tend to be more reasonable and crowds smaller compared to its high season between December and March.
Although the island is known for its clear waters, any time of year offers exceptional diving. Even during September and October – known as rainy season – water visibility can be excellent and reefs often remain free from visitors; it should be noted though, that this period can also bring storms or hurricanes.